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Is Alcohol Effective In Treating Head Lice?

One of the extremely annoying parasites that we would have come across is head lice. A majority of people would have come across this issue which is not just irritating but can get highly painful as well if left untreated. Mostly children who attend schools or play at the park with other kids get easily attacked by these easily transferable human skin parasites.

When the case is with our kids, we are skeptical about getting rid of lice using strong pesticides which could actually lead to other health-related complications. Age-old traditions have put forward several home remedies for treating head lice - one of them being the rubbing of alcohol to kill head lice. Read on to know the causes of the occurrence of head lice and how alcohol can be put to use to get rid of them.

Alcohol For Treating Head Lice

What Causes Lice?

Although not a health hazard, the presence of head lice indicates poor hygiene. You could commonly find it among school-age children. Head lice are tiny parasites that live in the human hair. They are extremely contagious and also hard to get rid of. Their eggs are known as nits.
Head-to-head contact results in the direct transmission of lice from one person's head to that of another.

An adult head louse (plural is lice) needs to feed on blood to survive. Lice cannot jump or fly. So, if you suspect that a person has head lice, you should avoid sharing brushes, headbands, combs, towels, clothing, hats or headphones. Head lice are not a result of dirty hair. It can exist in hair of any length. When submerged in water, they hold tightly onto the hair. They can be easily seen with the naked eye. However, nits can be confused with dandruff.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Lice

Before you choose to go in for heavy medicines, try out the following home remedies to get rid of head lice.

• Wet-combing

Use a fine-toothed nit comb on wet hair to comb out lice and some nits. You can also use a conditioner to keep your hair lubricated to help the nit comb function better. Comb the entire head starting from the scalp till the end of the hair. Repeat this every 2 to 3 days for at least 2 weeks.

• Use of essential oils

Some natural oils such as anise oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, neem oil, clove oil, etc. are said to have a toxic effect on head lice. You can choose to use a mix of these oils. Spray your hair with the oil and remember to comb out the lice. Repeat this process every alternate day till you find your hair free of lice infestation.

Is Alcohol Effective In Treating Head Lice?

It is believed that several people have achieved positive results in treating and getting rid of head lice effectively with the use of alcohol. An alcohol that has 70 per cent solution as isopropyl alcohol can be used as a disinfectant to treat head lice. This kind of alcohol serves to be powerful enough to kill lice. This alcohol can effectively dissolve the gum-like texture that makes the nits stick onto the hair shaft. It prevents head lice from sucking blood.

How Does Alcohol Help In Treating Head Lice?

Read on to know how alcohol can be used to treat head lice.

• Rubbing alcohol

Bend over the basin and pour the alcohol onto your hair. Massage the alcohol using your fingers to spread onto the scalp and through the hair. Leave it on for some time. Rub some conditioner onto your scalp. Brush your hair using a head lice comb. Wash your hair. Repeat this process once a week for a couple of months. You can use a comb dipped in alcohol to get rid of the lice. You would need to keep combing till all the hair is wet with the alcohol.

• Alcohol spray with lavender oil

Head lice would hate the smell of lavender oil, which is a natural insect repellant. Use a spray bottle to which there is enough isopropyl alcohol added along with a few drops of lavender oil. Spray this onto your scalp and hair. When wet with the mixture, comb your hair. Wash using normal shampoo and water. Repeat the process once every three days.

• Alcohol with vinegar

Acetic acid present in vinegar can kill head lice. It also facilitates the loosening of the grip of the nits. You would need to mix equal amounts of alcohol, baby oil and vinegar. Apply the solution onto your scalp and hair. Cover the hair with a shower cap. Leave it on for about one hour and then comb thoroughly. Rinse using shampoo and water. Do this twice a week.

Another method is with the use of bleach. You can mix about 4 tablespoons of alcohol, vinegar and bleach. Add enough water to this mixture. Pour the solution into a spray bottle. Shake well and spray it onto your hair. Cover with a shower cap. Leave it overnight and comb the next day morning. Wash using shampoo and water. Repeat this two to three times per week.

• Alcohol with tea tree oil

Tea tree oil can kill head lice due to its insecticidal properties. It can also loosen the grip of nits and soothe the scalp that has been irritated due to constant scratching. Mix about 4 oz. of alcohol and 20 drops of tea tree oil. Pour this into a spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto the scalp and hair. Leave it on for an hour and then wash normally. While the hair is wet, use a nit comb to comb out the lice. Repeat this two times per week.

Be careful when using alcohol on your scalp. Too much of it can cause burning sensation on the scalp. Remember that alcohol is flammable. So, if alcohol has been used to treat lice, then do not use hair dryers, flat irons or curling irons when your hair is still wet.

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